Author Archive

Episode 120: Master Madrigal’s Mechanical Man by Scott C. Mikula


Read by Marguerite Kenner and Graeme Dunlop

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Today we present Scott C. Mikula’s story, Master Madrigal’s Mechanical Man. Scott is a husband, father, software developer, board gamer, swing dancer, and has been told he makes a mean chocolate chip cookie. On his better days he is also a writer. His fiction has appeared in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Nature, and Cricket magazine. He lives in Washington State.

Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

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Episode 119: Pictures in Crayon by Elizabeth Shack


Read by Tina Connolly

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Show Notes

Today we present Elizabeth Shack’s story, Pictures in Crayon. Elizabeth lives in central Illinois and has worked as a software copywriter, a newspaper reporter, and a tour guide at a NASA visitor center. Her work has been published in Daily Science Fiction and other magazines. She is a member of SFWA and attended the Science Fiction & Fantasy Novel Writers Workshop at the University of Kansas. When not writing, she wages war on the squirrels who steal her tomatoes.

You can learn more at her website, http://elizabethshack.com

Your narrator is the fantastic Tina Connolly. Tina lives with her family in Portland, Oregon. Her stories have appeared in Lightspeed, Tor.com, Strange Horizons, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies. Her first fantasy novel, IRONSKIN (Tor 2012), was nominated for a Nebula, and the sequel COPPERHEAD is now out. She narrates for Podcastle and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, runs the Parsec-winning flash fiction podcast Toasted Cake, and her website is tinaconnolly.com.

Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

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Episode 118: Perihelion by Vajra Chandrasekera


Read by Graeme Dunlop

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Today we present Vajra Chandrasekera’s story, Perihelion. Vajra hails from Colombo, Sri Lanka. His fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Clarkesworld, Apex and Lightspeed, among others. You can find more stories via his website, vajra.me.

You may know that we usually pay our authors using PayPal. We were amazed to discover that it is not possible to receive PayPal payments in Sri Lanka! There are many individuals and small businesses that provide online services like web development, graphic designing and more in Sri Lanka. But Sri Lanka not supporting PayPal has become a barrier for them to continue and progress in their careers. If you’d like more information about this and to help support creative people like this week’s author, please go to https://sites.google.com/site/ppforsrilanka/enable-receiving-money-to-sri-lanka-through-paypal.

Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

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Metacast 2: State of the Union 2013


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Show Notes

Hello everyone! This is your editor, Marguerite Kenner.

Every year, one of my favorite game companies publishes a Stakeholders Report. As Steve puts it, while the company only has one shareholder, lots of people have a stake in its success and so he writes them an annual report about how well the company has done, what projects it tackled, and its plans for the future.

But we’re a podcast. Rather than writing you a long blog post, I’m taking a tradition from my American homeland. Welcome to Cast of Wonder’s first State of the Union address for 2013.

Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

Episode 117: Pignus by Jez Patterson


Read by Graeme Dunlop

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Today we present Jez Patterson’s story, Pignus. Jez is a British teacher and writer, currently based in Madrid. You can find out more about Jez and her work at jezpatterson.wordpress.com.

Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

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Episode 116: The Feathered Cloak by Edward Ahern


Read by Graeme Dunlop

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Show Notes

Today we present Edward Ahern’s story, The Feathered Cloak. Ed resumed writing after forty odd years in foreign intelligence and international sales. He has his original wife, but advises that after 46 years they are both out of warranty. Ed dissipates his free time fly fishing, shooting and attending Japanese, German and French language groups. His proudest writing achievement is five new fairy tales, the protagonist of each of which has the name of one of his grandchildren.

Ed has been with us before; he wrote “The Dun Horse” which was Episode 72.

Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

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Episode 115: Bad Poets Society by James Aquilone


Read by Graeme Dunlop

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Today we present James Aquilone’s story, Bad Poets Society. James is a writer and editor from Staten Island, New York. He has short stories coming out soon in Weird Tales Magazine and Third Flatiron’s Spring 2014 anthology. He is a regular contributor at SF Signal and is a member of the Horror Writers Association.

You can find him online at JamesAquilone.com.

Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

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Episode 114: Staff Pick 2013 – Now Cydonia by Rick Kennett


Read by Marguerite Kenner

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Today, we present Now Cydonia, the story that won us a 2013 Parsec award, a fact of which we’re immensely proud.

Now Cydonia ran as Episode 71 back in March of last year. One reason I’m personally so proud of our win is the story’s author, Rick Kennett. Although I’ve never met him, he’s from my home town of Melbourne, Australia and I love that a fellow countryman writes such kick-arse stuff. I narrated one of his ghost stories for Pseudopod, the immensely creepy The Dark and What It Said which is flat-out the best evocation of how spooky and lonely the Australian bush can be. Rick is a talented writer and I’m always happy to hear his stories when they appear in the pod-o-sphere.

Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

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Episode 113: Staff Pick 2013 – The Malthus Alternative by Jamie Mason


Read by Graeme Dunlop

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Show Notes

Graeme’s staff pick for 2013 is The Malthus Alternative by Jamie Mason. I guess the staff pick is meant to be from 2013 but I couldn’t resist looking over our whole back-catalogue. From the time this idea was floated, two stories were foremost in my mind. At first I thought I wouldn’t go with them because I narrate both and it seemed self-serving. But honestly I love both stories and so I went with my favourite, which is The Malthus Alternative by Jamie Mason. It ran as Episode 48, way back in August 2012.

Why did I like it so much? I think the foremost reason is the main character, Michael. He feels himself an outsider, an observer, a thinker. His path through life has been set by his father and he feels ensnared. Through martial arts and his mat sister Glenda, he senses that he can take a different path if he has the courage to choose. And choose he does, despite the personal sacrifice. And even in that sacrifice, we see at the end he is still fighting.

I find that both inspiring and challenging. It’s easy to follow an expected path. It’s easy to look around and see there is much with the world that isn’t right. It’s even easy to see what to do to make a difference, set some things right. But it can be hard to come to those conclusions and act. I respect Michael’s decisions and actions and I’d like to think I’m capable of them too.

Jamie has packed a lot of ideas and thoughtful introspection into a small space, something that’s not easy to do. Jamie, thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us.

Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

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Episode 112: Staff Pick 2013 – Kulturkampf by Anatoly Belilovsky


Read by Hans Fenstermacher

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Show Notes

Barry’s staff pick is the story of war by music, “Kulturkampf”. I had tremendous fun working with Anatoly on picking the appropriate music for this story. It’s a very clever and entertaining steam-punkish tale of battling classical composers. And thanks also to Anatoly for suggesting his friend Hans Fenstermacher as narrator. Hans’ German pronunciation is prefect… unlike mine.

Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

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Episode 111: Staff Pick 2013 – The Giant Who Dreamed of Summer by Jess Hyslop


Read by M K Hobson

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Show Notes

As our longtime listeners know, Cast of Wonders takes the month of January off each year, so we can recharge our batteries, and get out in front of the next year’s production schedule. And this year is no exception. However this January instead of leaving you with an empty playlist, Cast of Wonders is proud to present our Staff Picks!

Graeme, Barry and I (Marguerite) have selected our personal favorite story from 2013, and even further back in one case. Each of us will introduce the story, and talk a bit about we found so memorable about that particular tale.

But “Ahhh!”, I hear you say, “January has four weeks, and there’s only three of you! What are you going to do the last week of the month?” Well I’m glad you asked, because we’ll re-play our Small Cast, Short Form Parsec award winner, “Now Cydonia” by Rick Kennet, to transition you into a new year of what we hope to be even more award winnings stories, week after week.

And since I’m here, I guess that means I get to go first!

Barry and Graeme invited me to become the Editor of Cast of Wonders right before Christmas in 2012. I had just moved to the UK a few months prior, and the shorter days and significantly colder weather was starting to affect my mood. In January, while juggling a crushing course load in law school and frantically reading slush to be ready for the February episodes, I read the first submission that made me cry.

Jess Hyslop’s wonderful first-person narrative of a frost giant yearning for the touch of summer cut straight through my winter blues and reminded me of how good, how life affirming that first truly hot day of summer feels. Not just spring and rolling forward the clocks, but summer and that prickly, sizzling sensation on the tops of your shoulders when you wear a tanktop outside for the first time each year. Maybe, if you’re lucky, on the way to spend a day on the beach.

“The Giant Who Dreamed of Summer” is also the first story where the choice of narrator wasn’t really a choice so much as a lightning bolt of inspiration. I’ve been a fan of MK Hobson as a guest host and reader on Podcastle for years. I backed “The Warlock’s Curse”, the sequel to her smash hit debut novel “The Native Star”, on Kickstarter. The giant’s sense of humor, the gentle way it scolds as well as instructs the child, and the sensation of wisdom immediately brought MK’s warm and rich-yet-worn-around the edges voice to mind. I was thrilled when she accepted my request. Thanks MK!

Theme music is “Appeal To Heavens” by Alexye Nov, available at MusicAlley.com.

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Camp Myth: Phoenix Watching – Chapter 15


By Chris Lewis Carter

Listen above or download here.

Show Notes

Happy New Year, campers! And welcome to the final chapter of Phoenix Watching, Chapter 15!

What’s happened to Felix? Are Argee and Moxie okay? What happened to the phoenix that prompted it to attack, and how are it’s inferno feathers intact?

Pay close attention campers, our tale is almost over!


Camp Myth: Phoenix Watching is a Cast of Wonders production brought to you by Wolfsbane Publishing. It features the voice talents of Kate Baker, Adam Black, Tina Connolly, Graeme Dunlop, Christiana Ellis, Marguerite Kenner, Alethea Kontis, Alasdair Stuart, Ian Stuart, and Barry J. Northern. You can learn more about the world of Camp Myth at our website, castofwonders.org.

The Camp Myth theme music, “August”, is by Cast of Wonders’ favorite musical artist Alexye Nov, at MusicAlley.com.